Art & Words 2019

EXHIBITION STATEMENT

The power of one form of art over another fascinates me. Many art forms — visual arts, literary arts, music — carry the influence of those that came before and it’s always exciting for me to discover the little pieces of one artist informing another.

For this exhibition, I invited a few visual artists and poets with whom I have worked in the hopes that their art would inspire one another to create. The artists and poets were given the opportunity to submit existing art and poetry. The art was sent to poets and poetry sent to the artists who were give the opportunity to select poems or pieces of art that spoke to them from the submitted work. Participants were then asked to create a new piece of art—be it a visual art piece or poem—based on the original inspiration. All of the artists and poets that are participating in Art & Words rely heavily on visuals and I knew that pairing their art form with another would be successful. I wasn’t disappointed. Art & Words holds something for everyone in both visual and written forms.

I wish to personally thank the those that came together to make Art & Words one of my favorite exhibitions, and to those artists who brought my own poetry to life and to another level. I have been told by many artists and poets that they were challenged and that the project was a great creative reward. Please view the exhibition and spend some time looking deep into both the poetry and artwork to see the connections made between the artists and poets. Hopefully you too will discover your own connections.

Robert P. Langdon, Curator

April 2019

© Cheryl Lickona “Final Goddess” Digital collage 15.25” x 9.75”

inspired the poem "Final Goddess" by Michelle DeCicco

FINAL GODDESS

Every living organism has a soul, and a purpose in the circle of life.

from the smallest forest, to the deepest jungle she exists, newly created by the ancient ones, she grows from the ferns and earth a final chance for us humans,

to replenish and care

she thrives from hope, for change balance, for giving and receiving from seed to sapling, she, you, and i won’t survive without a greener Earth.

— © Michelle DeCicco

© Cheryl Lickona “Eva's Angel” Digital collage 15.25” x 9.75”

inspired the poem "Eva's Angel" by Michelle DeCicco

EVA'S ANGEL

Shhhhh... night merges with day what is fantasy, might be true his stone to her skin converge with reality Shhhh... lucid dreams revolt reality crumbles as we embrace it precious face notices touch hardens the soul Shhh... confuse the controlling dreamer twisted understandings cherub sight deceives others secrets of the present converge Shh... day breaks the night future to past souls she feels all with vanishing eyes secrets yearning to control secrets aching

— © Michelle DeCicco

© Theresa Landi Daniel “Fruehling (Little Early Thing)” Handmade paper and mixed media 6.5” x 6”

Inspired by the poem "Fruehling" by Theresa Landi Daniel

FRUEHLING (LITTLE EARLY SPRING)

First clue, color cue, watery blue. Greying sky; sprouts shy. Spatter-drops for pale buds Robin hops on soft mud. Worm squirm; worm gone. Showers off and on.

Amber flaking dust, browning, turns to rust that must but just cannot repel the rain. Sun low

Afterglow

Warming dark….

Day breaks. First spark starts slow, sparse and quiet.

Then green bursts to yellow, and violet riot.

— © Theresa Landi Daniel

© Ana C. H. Silva

“Timepiece”

Watercolor, paper, eye accent, ballpoint, pencil on panel

8” x 10”

inspired by the poem "An Antique" by Michelle DeCicco

AN ANTIQUE

my thoughts travel to you even in my dreams black and silver numbered and lettered high and elegant a shell of an antique but complete without a scratch your voice a delightful echo from the past reminds me of the greats that spent hours with you rhythmically touching your parts

— © Michelle DeCicco

© Andrea Geller

“Dent”

Oil on canvas

8” x 8”

inspired by the poem "Dent" by Ana Silva

DENT

The only thing of mine in that house was the dent. I threw a green stone egg at my bedroom wall. The egg made an oval in the sheetrock. I watched shadows dip into its curve at night.

I threw a green stone egg at my bedroom wall. I was allowed to have an egg collection. I watched shadows dip into its curve at night. Wood, agate, onyx, volcanic glass, even a geode.

I was allowed to have an egg collection. The beauty that something inside will someday come out. Wood, agate, onyx, volcanic glass, even a geode. Some nights I put a pillow on the floor and watched the moon.

The beauty that something inside will someday come out. I watched shadows dip into its curve at night. Some nights I put a pillow on the floor and watched the moon. The only thing of mine in that house was the dent.

— © Ana C. H. Silva

© Joanne Pagano Weber

“Cycles of Change”

Acrylic on canvas

16” x 12”

inspired by the poem "Cycles of Change" by Debra Offner-Friedkin

CYCLES OF CHANGE

We rallied round an evening barbecue like a prehistoric tribe partaking of the hunt spoils; post Fourth of July, the dog on his outdoor run barked at errant firecrackers.

We splintered into subgroups aware that relatives cannot be chosen; smoldering coal smoke hastened the darkness so we lifted our voices to push back the night.

Sitting in webbed chairs we lit citronella candles and raised beer bottles to the stars; clouds above our heads danced across the full moon the wind below dispersed our conversations capriciously.

Funny how one has no sensation of the movement of time slipping forward; that moonlit night I saw my generation infiltrating my parents reign, while my children ripened.

— © Debra Friedkin

© jd weiss

“remembering the way home”

Medium format film archival pigment print on panel

18” x 18”

inspired by the poem "Marie" by Robert Langdon

MARIE

I helped someone die today. Held Marie’s tired and bruised hand and talked her through letting go. I was honest — as I know she would want me to be — and relayed the final truth without a coat of sugar.

The truth that this time she wasn’t going to bounce back. That they wanted to cut her open again and clean the guts of this stubborn infection. That the tubes had to come out and she would forever breathe through a hole dug in her throat.

The truth that her cherished independence would be filched and she would be under someone’s care in a home of weakness, popsicle stick crafts and wafts of urine. With tears slipping down my face and falling onto her brittle hand I offered the dignity of choice and asked if this is what she wanted.

She looked at me through her cataract milky eyes. I knew she understood but she couldn’t respond because of the tubes feeding her air like a decorative aquarium chest. But Marie’s treasure was spent.

She moved her head from side to side like a pendulum. “No” she mouthed closing her eyes with final thoughts racing through her healthy mind She didn’t want this new quality of life. She didn’t want this fight.

She looked up at me while they injected morphine into the IV bag. The gaze lifted as her eyes rolled into her head like a junkie. They pulled the breathing tube from her mouth — unrolled like a tape measure — and switched off all of the machines except for one that monitored her beat.

Gurgles rose from her throat sounding like a child pushing air through a straw into a glass of milk. I held her hand tighter as she faded deeper into the task of giving in. “You will always be with me,” I repeated. “Tap me on the shoulder to let me know when you visit.”

She gazed at the ceiling mouthing words that only the dead could hear. She saw them reaching out to her—Ted, Manny, Duckie — and grasped their hands as they escorted her into death. One final blip on the screen and she left without dramatics. She simply closed her eyes and stopped living.

Later that evening the stress of the past month released like a slow leak in a birthday balloon. I sunk into the mattress like it were a cloud and dreamt of a younger Marie. Smiling like how I wanted to remember her. I felt a tap on the shoulder and smiled knowing it was her letting me know she was there. Just as I had asked.

— © Robert P. Langdon

© Diane Christi

“Contemplation”

Pastel

16” x 12”

inspired by the poem "Monday" by Robert Langdon

MONDAY

Welcome the close of day with vodka and bitter tonic. Twist of lime. Leave the corporate world to sunlight rays as grooves of jelly jar pints circle my lips like hula-hoops.

Pool players knee deep in competition capture my attention. Stripes and solids bullet from side to side dueling on velvet green. Their boastful collisions blend with the rhythm trickling from the jukebox.

Stevie Nicks, the white winged dove, sings of addiction. Her liquored breath strips me of my three pieced mask and I ease into repose.

Worries of the day are easily forgotten. Clients snuggle down. Voice mail messages mount resigned to 9 to 5. Forgotten until alarm clock laughs 6 a.m.

Routine wraps me in Tuesday’s skin.

— © Robert P. Langdon

© Leah Brown Klein

“It's Complicated”

Pastel pencil

17” x 21”

inspired the poem "it's complicated" by gwynneth green

it's complicated

is it really so rude

to choose

not to use

chopsticks

a fork

a spoon

work so much better

even fingers

in a pinch

who’s idea

was it to eat with sticks

why spend time

fighting with the food

when satisfying an appetite

is the point of feasting

don’t complicate

the meal

with snow peas slipping through

and rice

that doesn’t adhere to

what would be

a whittled piece of wood

is this a cultural test

for those who didn’t grow up

with wands or rods

consuming food

without a place setting

you know

the ones who say

no elbows on the table

you’re not in a horses’ stable

really

who eats in a stable besides the animals

there should be no shame

in eating your own way

who has the final say

as to etiquette

are you done

spoke your piece

please now

pick up the sticks

let’s eat

— © gwynneth green​

© Josh Dorman​

“Interior: Hedgehog Manager”

Mixed media collage on panel

30” x 24”

inspired the poem :The Collage Artist" by Robert Langdon

THE COLLAGE ARTIST

I’m pulling it together.

Combining the pieces in an arranged

marriage of mammals and birds.

Acrylic and cut pieces scrapped

from outdated medical texts, stained

auto guides and books of jokes that

stopped being funny.

Scissor snipped and clipped

seals and snails and diving swallows —

lost in a jumble of Indian ink and Library Paste

— arrange themselves into a dance.

My hands are lost in the cut and stroke.

The lines blur as I birth

a new collage.

— © Robert Langdon​

© Ellen Martin​

“Abandoned #185 (October 19, 2016)”

Ipod Touch digital photograph

20” x 15”

inspired the poem ransacked by gwynneth green

ransacked

rags

all that was left

were rags

vandalized

body parts

spun

twisted

bent and broken

violated

spoiling

a space

disruptive

disturbing

terrorized

shocking

the mind

into a warfare game

who

why

will they return

does one stay

with a gun

ready to shoot off toes

does one

flea

for there’s nothing worth keeping

don’t hesitate

don’t spend endless hour contemplating

file a claim

lock the door

don’t look back

leave

— © gwynneth green​

© Kathleen MacKenzie

“Facing the Wind”

Acrylic on panel

12” x 12”

Inspired by the poem I Remember by Kathleen MacKenzie

I REMEMBER

I remember a Sunday

winter in the Bronx

the barren streets

enveloped by a bitter cold sky,

a grey blanket covering

our apartment buildings

I remember the wind

cutting through the alleyways

whipping across the elevated train tracks

lifting falling swirling passing McArdle’s bar

issuing a drunken howl

before turning the corner

The barbershop pole

whirling red white and blue

the sweetshop awning

flapping fiercely

Joe’s shoe repair sign

creaking back and forth

I also remember

on that Sunday afternoon

snapping Liz’s picture

as she stood in closeup

smiling

facing the wind

— © Kathleen MacKenzie

© Kathleen MacKenzie

“Zeus”

Acrylic on panel

12” x 16”

Inspired by the poem Zeus by Kathleen MacKenzie

ZEUS

He wore his

indanthrene tie

knotted at the neck

and strung under

a brilliant

white shirt collar

the longer part thrown

fashionably over

his left shoulder

decorating a

tailored dark grey

suit of silk.

Around his

fingers and thumb

he held a tightly wound

clothe of red.

He strode from the courthouse

quite confident,

the upturned corners

of his mouth

revealing his pleasure

with the verdict.

This god of seduction

a figure of bearing and danger

Zeus rose again.

— © Kathleen MacKenzie

© Debra Friedkin​

“The Big Bang”

Mixed media collage

13.75” x 11.75”

inspired the poem "The Big Bang" by Barbara Hall

THE BIG BANG

I see the message of the disaster humanity fears

A nuclear bomb rocketing towards its target on man’s time

Like the Doppler effect, earth anticipates its arrival

her atoms and molecules quiver in portending disintegration

But that is not the only Big Bang

Scientists theorize our origins:

The Birth of the Universe - a Big Explosion…

How can that be? Something from nothing?

Where is the logic? Wnho lit the fuse?

How can matter survive an explosion of nothing?

Fifty years ago, American feet kicked moon dust

Some challenged that it was staged

I’m sure Houston Control did not…

The astronauts wanted to see the dark side of the moon

They reported phantom angels, space ships and orbs

What they really saw, heard and experienced

covered up to keep us safe, the silence of nondisclosure

The wonder and mystery of it all lives on,

Have we been here or there before?

Why so intent to go to the moon? now Mars?

Some say Mars is our home, we are Martians…

Opportunity, MER-B and Spirit MER-A explored Mars,

With the death of MER-B after an unexpected longevity:

“My battery is low and it is getting dark:”

Curiosity takes their place

All report possible evidence of water and nuclear explosions on Mars

Is Earth the planet of the Great Escape?

And Mars the hope of return?

We now have moon dust on our feet

Star bursts, supernovas, do they make the Milky Way?

Human imagination is too confined to comprehend it all

The unanswered question lives: Does history repeat itself?

— © Barbara Hall

© Debra Friedkin

“Tornado”

Mixed media collage

5” x 7”

inspired by the poem "is it too late" by gwynneth green

is it too late

throw me line

i’ve fallen once more

the rabbit hole

it’s deeper than ever

lined with

barbs and thorns

reopening wounds

that had been stitched

but never totally healed

oozing memories

that i thought

had been replaced

is it too late

to avoided

the pain

is it too late

to call for help

is it too late

to mend these scars

is it too late

to be saved

throw me line

— © gwynneth green​

© Marjorie Magid​

“Dancing In the Green”

Oil on canvas

20” x 30”

inspired the poem "town green" by gwynneth green

town green

as a bird in flight

light on her bared feet

her dance

her expression

no music

the crowd quiets

no sound

leaps

dips

spins

and twirls

mesmerizing

the unexpected spectators

in a trance

unleashing her soul

into a beautiful performance

of unrehearsed steps

captivating the audience

they with bated breaths

fearing

her triple whirl

might end in a fall

the grand finale

a pirouette and bow

leaving all speechless

and in awe

now

continue on

pass the town green

— © gwynneth green​

© Ellen Martin​

“Abandoned #98 Plywood and Pleats (10-10-2015)”

Ipod Touch digital photograph

28” x 22”

inspired new poems by Barbara Hall and Allen Shadow

ABANDONED #98 — PLYWOOD AND PLEATS

I saw that shanty, too

Abandoned #98

How many more have been abandoned?

Man tired of Mother Nature’s persistent claim for her possessions….

Not one, but two, counting the doors at #98

I saw that shanty driving to Jacksonville

that crumbling shanty caught my eye

I stopped. I snapped a picture. I wondered….

Who once lived there?

Where did they go?

Why did they leave?

Who owns it now?

Why doesn’t someone fix it?

Door #1

why the plywood?

What happened inside?

Door #2

Someone loved it, the evidence remains:

Pleated curtains, sewn and hung,

Ceiling to floor, colors undecipherable,

fabric faded by the sun….

I pictured in my mind…

Two hard working families…

Little Mikey in his baseball cap

Ready to play across the street

hit a home run straight through the window…

Dad with his hammer, blocked the rain….

Mikey’s rear end hurt with pain

Next door, little Sarah, pinafore circles her calico dress,

hanky in her pocket with her nickel for the offering plate

Sarah’s mother stirs Sunday beef stew

Pa, in his best suit, ties his derby shoe laces

But where did they go?

Did Florence move in to reclaim their home?

Money too scarce to mend missing shingles,

molded walls, mud packed floors

Abandoned when the river rose, abandoned hope

Mother Nature struck again, and again and again

Florida’s finger sticking out can host more than one in a year

Florence’s sister Katrina swerved to Louisiana to sing the blues

Brother Harvey chose Houston, worse than Katrina

Sent people packing with displacement and flooding

So where do they go, the displaced and hungry?

How do they survive this story unending

Mother Nature’s eternal determination, rebirths her children

of wind and water, earth and fire,

The constant threat to mankind’s desires….

— © Barbara Hall

Ghost Plaza

Blanked and shadowed

once curtained and live

the cratered parking lot

the power lines to nowhere

the mismatched plywood for eyes

yet can see, smell the luxe drapes

dripping sad theater where once

little ladies with purses sat for hours

beneath bulbous dryers, unaware

of the traffic and teen terrors beyond

Are there still stray coins perhaps

amid the slaughtered floor tiles

ones that might tell tales of transactions

good and bad and heated, when there

was once the throbbing of life?

— © Allen Shadow

Al Desetta

“Loneliness is a Lady”

Oil on canvas

36” x 48”

inspired by the poem "Loneliness Is a Lady" by Barbara Hall

LONELINESS IS A LADY

Loneliness is a lady all dressed up in white

her gown free, flowing, sheer pearl-essence in the light

She spends her day in a lazy way,

ensconced in her parlor, painted grey and white

She sips peach cider by herself, never invites me in

even when I stop by to see her, she cowers behind the trees

I ask her to join me but she thinks I’m a tease

I bring her lemonade, she doesn’t like the sugar

I bring her strawberries, they slip away

and drop red stains on her flowery gown

I bring her songs to sing

she whispers my melodies to the wind

She thinks I’m funny, but full of original sin

She loves to walk along the beach

sand her summer snow

dunes rise like cliffs, tower above her head;

her feet sink into shoals, her winter drifts of snow

her favorite pets are creatures of the night

white barn owls that whooo hoot ‘til dawn

leopards’ black spots on ginger, scarce as summer snow

faint creatures rule her moods

her moonlight walks beyond the edge of Time

I cry for her to shed her sham

to change her dress to red

I want for her to dance with me

and leave haunted memories behind

— © Barbara Hall

© Linda Lynton

“August Moon I-III”

Oil on linen

8” x 8”

Inspired by the poem "Full Moon In August" by Ellen McKay

FULL MOON IN AUGUST

The forest floor shines like tarnished silver.

Plum Moon the Shawnee call it.

Rose orb of the open fruit

in the gloss of night, purple-dark.

I bathe in this light, soft as water,

In its cool gleam I soften,

my jagged edges polished smooth,

what was in shadow now revealed,

my gaze now lucid, clear.

Cross-hatched pen and ink,

a jeweler’s tool carved this shimmer

on boulder and stone, pebble and bark,

pale luster on the lobed leaves of oaks

and the silver birch in its own element, moonlight.

Green Corn Moon, Barley Moon,

white kernel swathed in corn silk,

at first sight you took me by surprise—

like coming upon a wild creature in the wood,

sitting there, looking at me.

The moon is a snowy owl

in the upper limbs of the tallest fir,

she floats from the branch, a blossom hovering—

instant of pure white,

oblique light, feathered light.

Kindred moon, my rhythm falls in

with your ebb and flow, I sway,

easy as sleeping breath,

bathed in your milk, opalescent,

fragrance of forest musk

from dusk to dawn.

— © Ellen McKay

© Loel Barr​

“Bottom of the World”

Photography

13.5” x 10.5”

inspired the poem "Bottom of the World" by Robert Langdon

BOTTOM OF THE WORLD

Cancer — that little cunt — stole his mojo.

Dug its claws into his abdomen

and left a piece of him right there on a stainless

steel tray at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Washed its hands and left him dry.

Dry of morning wood

of messy tissues crumpled beside the bed

of the possibilities of children

It left him in a paradise with a sunset of fire

that no longer blazed and with a fog that would never

lift. It abandoned him on the other side of the world.

Left him. Touching

bottom.

— © Robert Langdon​

© Loel Barr

“In Search of Pomegranate Molasses”

Digital drawing

10” x 8.25” / 14” x 11”

Inspired by the poem "In Search of Pomegranate Molasses" by Anique Taylor

© Elaine Ralston

“Pomegranate”

Pastel

12” x 16”

Inspired by the poem "In Search of Pomegranate Molasses" by Anique Taylor

IN SEARCH OF POMEGRANATE MOLASSES

Fog hangs in torn sheets from the sky. The river

calls in a language I cannot understand,

On our way to the darkest time of the year,

every day we lose three minutes of light,

each inside our separate skin.

The sound of rain. Sometimes I think

the past will crush me. Still the jittery feeling

rises up again. I will escape later. Some

fold laundry and make lists. Others wait

in line for pomegranate molasses. Some

raise hands trying to capture the wingbeat

of a prayer — as young men explode

children’s limbs like toys. In the invisible grid

of each cell, how can it ever be the same

again? The forgotten bones of childhood,

was there something we could have changed?

Something we missed? I know it needs

a voice, but the loop replays. I hit the button

at the end of the cycle to restart this too.

We try to define the edges, but sun’s light

crowds out every star. How will we love,

even what is upside down, has layers or opens up —

the unmendable beauty of what is speckled,

has clawed feet or makes us weep

— © Anique Taylor

© jd weiss

“take me out to the sea”

Medium format film / archival pigment print on panel

20” x 20”

Inspired by the poem "I Can’t Stop Dreaming" by Anonymous

I CAN'T STOP DREAMING

I can’t stop dreaming.

I’m at the sea.

Dreaming for ever, but still not believing.

I want the waves to come on in.

On me, over me, take me out to the sea.

Floating

letting go of the weight that drowns.

Floating

breaking the chains that bound.

I woke up dreaming.

And now I know.

Dreaming’s the state that life does unfold.

I want the waves to come on in.

On me, over me, ocean waves are me.

— Anonymous

© Prudence See

“Hobby Horse”

Crayon, gouache and watercolor on scratchboard print with appropriate types piece inserted

13” x 16”

© Prudence See

“Twinkle Twinkle”

Crayon, gouache and watercolor on scratchboard print with appropriate types piece inserted

13” x 16”

© Will Nixon

Photography

7.5” x 9.5” / 12” x 14”

inspired the poems:

CARDIAC ARREST

due in courtship holy bail bonds of matrimony a wife sentence

— © Sari Grandstaff

THE HANDCUFFS

After Will Nixon

I wanted to hide in the closet and light a smoke.

I wanted to defy Father Time and vanish

in the long shadow of the big clock.

I wanted to jump from the roof to safety

in the arms of my ex-lover Cherise.

I wanted to confess at the hem of a bewildered nun.

I wanted to be mocked by giggling girls

sipping martinis at the mirrored bar.

I wanted to be led away in handcuffs into the swirling lights.

— © Bruce Weber

© Ann Morris

“Rain”

Mixed media collage

10” x 10” / 12.5” x 12.5”

Inspired by the poem "Rain" by Will Nixon

RAIN

Why does rain in the movies always mean sadness?

Why does rain imply sex in the novels of Yukio Mishima

as my boarding school English teacher once informed us?

Why does the rain sound like stampeding baby feet

on my cottage roof as I sit down to write morning pages?

Why do I not have the words for rain the way Eskimos

do for snow: do we not have thirty-two varieties of sadness?

I've seen the rain thin into harp strings. I've seen it thicken

with the vengeance of bullets that dissolve into puddles.

No one should decide what the rain means in the novels

of Yukio Mishima, but the lovers themselves, plotting

their lives under an umbrella as loud as a typewriter

clackety-clacketying with the downpour of news.

Whenever they chose, they can drink from the sky.

— © Will Nixon

© Robert P Langdon

“Wigs”

Photography

8.5” x 11.5” / 11” x 14”

inspired the poem "oh tina" by gwynneth green

OH TINA

tina lived here

on the 6th floor

just high enough off the street

that the fumes

didn’t seep through

the window cracks

but the noise on the street

kept her from sleep many nights

she spent those dark hours

combing her wigs

for having lost her hair

in a cruel battle

to save her life

wigs

her trophies

her crowns

her wigs gave

new meaning to life

she could change attitude

with length color and style

she could disguise

so not to be recognized

tresses of orange

when she sang at clubs

blond locks

for a latte at bucks

chic short and blunt

when out to lunch

selecting sleek black

for boudoir bedfellows

oh tina

oh tina

the boys would sing

oh tina

oh tina

with her many wigs

each day expressing

the woman

she wanted you to see

oh tina

oh tina

we love whatever personality you bring

— © gwynneth green

© jd weiss

“outside my window on a winter day”

Medium format film /archival pigment print on panel 18" x 18"

Inspired by the poem "Glittering" by Michelle DeCicco

GLITTERING

gazing out my window

one of two

faces the sun’s rising

frozen glitter

fluttering through the air

sparkly iridescence

each tiny glitter

glittering

encapsulating rainbow

fairy folk

in winter’s trees

creating a glittering

from fanciful wings

— © Michelle DeCicco

© Josepha Gutelius

“The Hours on Saturday”

Mixed media on canvas

30” x 30”

Inspired by the poem "The Hours on Saturday" by Josepha Gutelius

THE HOURS ON SATURDAY

Saturday morning. Ten-thirty. The slow sway of cattails. I was looking out at the pond, worried about the blue heron that was stealing the carp. I’m all ears, she tells me. Or she would have, if I had called her. Sometimes I didn’t want to hear my voice, part steely interrogator, part like a night crab jerks around and she can’t get a word in. Eleven o’clock. The day is big if one bloodied shirt can interrupt the radio. Shirt = laundry, you know where that’s headed. I did a load of clothes before I remembered

I wanted to call her. I sat with my dogs’ crowded yelps, the phone in my hand. It’s good, I’ll tell her, all good. No I’ll call her after. —Always something, isn’t there? — my entire lifetime is watered with faltering. I called another friend first and talked too long. How my life has shrunk. I was so tired of being tied to the phone. One-thirty. Fierce sweeps of rain. Tires going what-what. No, I didn’t call her. The wind plucked the grocery list from my hand. —Yup, I was out shopping. — Tongue hanging out of a worn-out sneaker. Oh, the things we remember. And I was feeling awfully beat when I got home, awful, like I’d spent the last three hours fighting off mobs. Now I really must call her, not later. Now.

Three-thirty. Last dregs of mint leaves at the bottom of my glass: Why this hint of sad endings? I was remembering some funny things she told me. Like, her great-great-great was a bespectacled cloud. Her great-great was a dot in the center of soup. Her father was a fringe of a beard history licked off. Her raven mother.... More memories coming round the back...

Four o’clock. Still haven’t called her. An earthquake arrives in the mail, loopy scrawls slipknot into sudden fissures: World, what did you announce? We all share the same numbers, for instance everyone knows what one means, she wrote. I am one, you are one, one world, she wrote. I almost was ready to pick up the phone. My tongue slapping from rut to rut. So many things to rock my world. Hello? Hello? How you holding up, I would have asked her.

— For Charlotte

Saturday, 4 p.m. CBS News: An elderly woman identified as Charlotte Hahn Arner, a Holocaust survivor, was killed tragically in a fire that broke out in her home this afternoon.

— © Josepha Gutelius

© Josepha Gutelius

"Transformers"

Mixed media on canvas

16” x 20”

Inspired the poem "Transformer" by Monica T. Fiorentini

TRANSFORMER

Upon further inspection

you’re not so prim in blue

rather your duchess slant sits

stacking quips to spew

middle finger cocks

behind the ear

prepped to pop

the jester doth dare

stonewall Sweetie’s catwalk.

— © Monica T. Fiorentini

© Josepha Gutelius

“Crossing the Tappan Zee”

Mixed media on canvas

24” x 16”

Inspired by the poem "Writing While Driving Across the Tappan Zee Bridge" by Anique Taylor

© Josepha Gutelius

“Crossing the Tapan Zee II”

Ink on canvas

12” x 16”

Inspired by the poem "Writing While Driving Across the Tappan Zee Bridge" by Anique Taylor

WRITING WHILE DRIVING ACROSS THE TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE

A fog so dense, I drive ahead

enclosed in a separate world. A member

of the generation raised ignored and unseen, I

swallow each day like a fisherman afraid of the ocean.

The first thing I learned in college after

the in loco parentis lecture on the necessity

of virginity, was how to roll a joint. I paced corn

fields reciting poems to communities of stars, as night

sky engulfed the land. The first time I left, I hitchhiked into

dawn, sawdust puppets tucked into cloth laundry bag on one shoulder,

a broken guitar on the other. Out Route 68, I boomeranged back to suburban

cocktail parties, adults embarrassed by love, scotch & cigarettes embedded in their cells.

Across the Tappan Zee, where slabs of concrete had

crashed into the river leaving openings in pavement

large enough to see down into the Hudson. I examine

my wrinkled face in the mirror. A ghost of myself ringed

with colored mists, the clown in me gives me courage.

Some pray to the crescent

moon. Lucky ones drive ahead as if

there’s nothing to fear. Some scribble on paper

scraps on the steering wheel, to capture whatever we can.

We balance, one legged

toppling un-metered through dreams

to risk the unknown before the absorption

of all palpable light. We sing and we sing wanting

only to touch the moving silhouette before it disappears

— © Anique Taylor

© Martha Hill

“Solitude”

Oil, pastel and pencil

9” x 9”

Inspired the poems:

IN SOLITUDE

a mood

of colors that don’t clash

ripples of differences

diffuse

drastically altering

one’s disposition

succumb

to still

alleviate

waves of anxiety

in simple steps

of

conscious breath

awakening

to calm

aware of

one’s space

cognizant of

cosmic unity

mindful of

one’s heath

reflecting on

knowledge

your sanctuary

your domain

obtainable

in

solitude

a mood

of colors that don’t clash

noises that combine

into a quieted symphonic sound

relaxing one’s

body and mind

opening

one’s spiritual side

— © gwynneth green

SOLITUDE

I discovered a cathedral in Nature’s back yard

where apple trees and Japanese maples, like spires, reach skyward

Their leaves flutter and blur into green at wind’s command,

her voice, a soft echo, drifts across colossal blue hosta

her whispers plant seeds of wisdom, deep in the earth

She paints yarrow with a brush of silver and yellow

drops hesitant dots and white stars on lily of the valley

she borrows Time from the universe

as the small pond reflects images of clouds, a contrail cross

the coo of mourning doves joins the chickadees’ chorus

raindrops wash the earth and star dust away

shadows in the pond hint of a mystical presence

Peace proliferates as I breathe in the spirits of solitude…

— © Barbara Hall

© Elaine Ralston

“Willow, Early Spring”

Pastel

9” x 11”

Inspired by the poem Willow, Early Spring by Ellen McKay

© Ellen McKay

“Willow, Early Spring”

Acrylic on canvas

15” x 15”

Inspired by the poem Willow, Early Spring by Ellen McKay

WILLOW, EARLY SPRING

Specks of red bole clay show through the silver leaf, the antique moulding, of simple grace, frames a single willow painted in Pointillist detail. At the edge of Spring, the bright green-yellow whips rain down as a fountain, pale saffron, the new leaf buds— the first color to appear in March in fields still winter-grey. The willow grows by a pure cobalt blue river, running calm and cold. An old tree, the trunk is broad and gnarled, deeply rooted. Across the river, a distant shore, barely visible, veiled in morning mist. Brush points of white: the water glimmers. How I long to put down roots to the depths, feel myself solid, fed by underground streams, rain and sun and even snow, change my colors with the seasons, my crown ever open to the sky, live long by the blue river with wild grasses fragrant at my feet!

— © Ellen McKay

© Ellen mcKay

Tempera on paper

24” x 32”

Inspired the poem 'Marshland" by Monica T Fiorentini

MARSHLAND

Sugary palette hops into the heart

and coats it with Easter magic

Bouncing down the stairwell

in white nightie

butterflies in my belly

Eggs hidden behind couch cushions

and on window sills

Believing there was a bunny

that could open cupboards and hold

a basket in his paw.

Hello Kitty treats, black jelly beans

wrapped in lemony cellophane

nestled on minty green grass.

— © Monica T. Fiorentini

Emerge Gallery & Art Space

228A Main Street, Saugerties, NY  (845) 247-7515

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